The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95) (2000)


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Movie Info

This Danish comedy-drama is about some Copenhagen eccentrics who find therapeutic release in acting like idiots. Restaurant patrons are disturbed by the group's mischief, but Karen finds it intriguing. Eventually the group decides to let idiocy invade their daily lives, but only Karen will take that challenge.


Jens Albinus
as Stoffer
Louise Mieritz
as Josephine
Paprika Steen
as High-Class Lady
Erik Wedersøe
as Stoffer's Uncle
Michael Moritzen
as Man From Municipality
Anders Hove
as Josephine's Father
Jan Elle
as Waiter
Claus Strandberg
as Guide at Factory
Jens Jørn Spottag
as Boss at Advertising Agency
John Martinus
as Man in Morning-Jacket
Lars Bjarke
as Rocker No. 1
Ewald Larsen
as Rocker No. 2
Christian Friis
as Rocker No. 3
Louise B. Clausen
as Rocker Girl
Hans Henrik Clemensen
as Karen's Husband, Anders
Lone Lindorff
as Karen's Mother
Erno Muller
as Karen's Grandfather
Regitze Estrup
as Karen's Sister, Louise
Lotte Munk
as Karen's Sister, Britta
Marina Bouras
as Axel's Wife
Julie Wieth
as Woman with Two Kids
Kirsten Vaupel
as Art Class Lady No. 1
Lillian Tillegreen
as Art Class Lady No. 2
Birgit Conradi
as Art Class Lady No. 3
Albert Wickmann
as High-Class Man
Peter Froge
as Man in the Swimming Pool
Bent Sorensen
as Taxi Driver
Jesper Sonderaas
as Svendsen at Advertising Agency
Ditlev Weddelsborg
as Severin at Advertising Agency
Iris Alboge
as Qualified Carer
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News & Interviews for The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)

Critic Reviews for The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5)

The Idiots suggests that if Danish iconoclast Lars von Trier's filmsare getting tougher, they're also continuing to reward the patient.

Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

A raw, funny, maddening ramble.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: B | Full Review…

A tedious, pretentious bore.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 0.5/4

Has nothing on its mind besides the squirming discomfort of its audience.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 0.5/5

Not everyone's cup of tea and, indeed, not a cup of tea at all, but one of those extremely rare films that aren't content to leave the cinema as they found it.

Nov 27, 2017 | Full Review…

The first Dogme film of enfant terrible Lars von Trier challenges viewers to reexamine their social mores and cinema habits of voyeurism and pleasure.

Jul 16, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)

Wonderful on many levels - as an (aborted) excursion into a new film form, and the bizarre attention that it brought to the progenitor who immediately abandoned it; as a source of perverse entertainment turned desperate tragedy; as a look into metafilm and levels of reality. It doesn't seem like there's a lot going on in The Idiots, but between its guiltless waltzing from genre to genre, the clashing ideologies of both the characters and the story itself, and the greater ramifications of being a Dogme 95 film and what it's implicitly saying about its cast and director, there's some serious thought behind that ugly exterior. This will not be an easy watch for many understandable reasons, and I think it's fair to call it offensive, obnoxious or even incomplete. I just think it's fascinating. I enjoyed watching the film with the Dogme Vow of Chastity in mind and wondering what limitations that imposed on von Trier and his crew. The performances he draws from his cast, unhesitantly authentic, are also enthralling when placed in a documentary context. Tensions were high between von Trier and his players, and there's a palpable parallel between how the "spassers" disintegrate and how his own harmonious set begins to fall apart. In fact, there's a very thorough and elaborate byline on which the events of this film, Dogme 95, and the work of Von Trier all operate, with thinly constructed notions of "reality" where other layers of their respective worlds can't help but leak in. Maybe the film's success as a conventional narrative in the medium is arguable, but I think it's an excellent auteurial curio and an exceptional think piece. It's also sort of hilarious in a way that becomes very dark with a gut-punch of an ending. As with just about all of von Trier's work - not for everyone, but worth at least giving a shot.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer


Astounding, brave, funny and touching cult film. I find it hard to understand how so much has been said about the "lack" of production values or the nudity in this movie, which to me aren't even worth mentioning, but hardly anyone comments about how astounding the ACTING is! The actors in this, and in Lars Von Triers' previous Breaking The Waves, display completely realistic acting very rarely (if ever!) seen in Hollywood. But if you want a funny, dirty, smart, irritating, and even infuriating satire of both the bourgeoisie and the bohemians who oppose it, then The Idiots is for you. Von Trier has assembled a furiously talented cast of unknowns to spin this tale of a Danish commune that pretends - to the horror of the middle class masses that surround it - to be a private institution for "retards" and "spastics".

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Ok, Vinterberg's Festen was a great start to Dogme 95 but Lars von Trier's Idioterne as the second Dogme 95 film is a huge disappointment, Pretentious & dumb to the core

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer


This is a really strange movie, but I kind of liked it. I think it kind of ran out of steam near the end, but it was pretty funny. It's hard to imagine someone pulling off a premise like this with any type of skill - I mean, look at The Ringer. I'm not even entirely sure what it was about this movie I liked. It is something to see, though.

Emily Armstrong
Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

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